Burning the witch in a bonfire in Basiliano-Vissandone in Italy to celebrate a Pignarul
  Carnival in Venice – Colorful celebration of life
Venice/Italy (2013)Every year on Fat Tuesday – forty days before Easter and a day before
Ash Wednesday – one of the oldest world-wide known annual festival in Italy, the Carnival in Venice (Carnevale di Venezia - Italian) ends with a big bang, an amazing colorful celebration of life. No more grand balls, the dancing events, concerts and parades, on Fat Tuesday the carnival time ends with one last grand event. Every year hundreds of thousands visitors from all around
the globe come to the Carnival in Venice and a good part of it attends the celebration
on this very last day of carnival. And what a farewell it always is. Year after year.
A unique festival – Thousands of photographers fight for the best shots
The Carnival in Venice became a huge tourist attraction and world-wide known in the early 1980s. The way the Venetians celebrate this festival is unique in the world. They do this with so much style and class, no wonder people from all over the world are attracted to this event. Who isn't claustrophobic, not shy of being in the middle of a huge crowd in almost every moment and who can take a few "accidental hits and kicks" should have this event on their bucket list. In the days of carnival the squares and alleys in the lagoon city are filled with masked people swaggering up and down and showing off their amazing traditional dresses and incredible beautiful masks. Thousands of determind photographers – professionals, hobby photographer and "cell phone/tablet clicker" – try to capture these unique and truly special and memorable moments when the mask pose. But be warned: At times it is way beyond a crazy hunt for the best photo of "The Mask of the Carnival in Venice".  

From victory to carnival celebration
The history of the Carnival of Venice and its tradition began after the year 1268 – some records even show earlier mentions – when the Republic of Venice, "La Serenissima", defeated Ulrico, Patriarch of Aquileia, in that year. To celebrate the victory a bull and 12 pigs were slaughtered at the "Piazza San Marco" around Fat Tuesday. From this time on this celebration was repeated every year and became gradually bigger and more important. About hundred years later the Venetians started to wear masks while celebrating. The residents wanted to be treated equally, no matter how rich or poor they were in their every day life. At least in these days this shouldn't matter and wearing masks they were guaranteed this privilege. Every year on this special day for the years to come the Venetians would show off their gold, their expansive fabrics and valuable stones. They would walk the alleys and squares of the city in their costly robes, back and forth until they would end up in a restaurant or in the theater for the grand finale. The long history of the Carnival of Venice was interrupted several times, first when Napoleon took over Venice in 1796, and in the years after under the Austrian government. In the 1930's Mussolini also banned the festival. It was only at the end of the 1970's when the Carnival in Venice was reinvented and became a world-wide known tourist attraction.

Around the year 2000 the number of people visiting the Carnival in Venice annally rose to more than 1 million. Mind you, the city only counts 60.000 inhabitants, therefore Carnival in Venice also equals chaos in the city. The small alleys are blocked, the squares aren't passable, the ferry boats jam-packed, no parking to be found already in the early morning hours and most of the time the access to the city by car is even stopped some miles outside of Venice. In the past years the number of visitors stayed by around 1,5 million people during the days of celebration. The Venetians got a grip on the organization and everything now goes a bit more smooth. But make no mistake, it is still packed during the main festival events. It’s still crowded everywhere, in park houses, ferry boats, trains, restaurants and bars. The alleys are still almost impossible to walk and the squares hard to reach without great effort. But at least now it's an more or less organized chaos.   
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